Another attack on the peace of Europe took place at around 1830 GMT on June 20, 2017. Although there were no casualties or injuries, except the suspect being killed by the Belgian Army, Belgium is currently on a terror alert of level 3, which is the second highest.
Witnesses told reporters that the suspect was shouting and then yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ before he blew up a wheeled suitcase causing a minor explosion and the suitcase burst into flames causing panic at the Brussels train station. The suspect started running towards the platform causing the panicked people to run to the tracks while others exited the station entirely. Belgian soldiers who were already on patrol shot and killed the suspect before announcing the situation to be under control within an hour of the attack.
The incident was claimed responsibility for by the Islamic State, by a sleeper cell, the same one who were behind the November 2015 Paris attacks that killed almost 130 people. Brussels has been on high alert since the attack on Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek Metro station in March 2016, which claimed the lives of 32 people. Belgium also faced another attempt by Islamic extremists when a man wielding a machete shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ before attacking two policemen in Charleroi and he was shot dead.
Belgian intelligence and law enforcement has been under scrutiny since the Paris attacks for apparently missing out leads that could have lead to the Brussels bombers.
The size of the bomb that exploded in the Central Station was limited to a small area due to an apparent manufacturing defect. Belgian authorities informed that the suspect carried a larger bomb which also failed to detonate due to manufacturing defects. The attack has been termed as a foiled terrorist attempt by the Belgian authorities.
All trains between the North and the South station were suspended along with a temporary halt on the metro services.